"We intend to invest heavily in product development and go-to-market capabilities to drive this market," said Todd Bradley, vice president of HP's personal systems group and a former Palm CEO.Steve Hilton, an analyst at Analysys Mason, suggested that HP should build WebOS-based smartphones for corporate users. HP could "dislodge RIM and Nokia" by taking advantage of its powerful corporate sales and marketing organization, he said. Bradley noted that HP is also looking to use Palm's technology in its effort to make inroads in the fledgling tablet computer market. WebOS currently runs only on mobile phones. "We see opportunities beyond smartphones," said Bradley. IDC estimates that about 7.6 million tablets will be sold this year and that sales will reach 50 million by 2014. Analyst Jack Gold at J.Gold Associates LLC said a strong tablet offering could significantly boost HP's revenue. "Since tablets are primarily front ends to the Internet, it allows HP to deploy many cloud-based services from which it can generate revenue," he said. Like other HP acquisitions overseen by CEO Mark Hurd, the integration of Palm will likely involve a lot of operational oversight, said Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT Research. People in Palm's marketing and sales groups will probably lose their jobs, but the engineering talent will likely be highly valued, he said. Judging from the way HP handled its acquisitions of Electronic Data Systems and 3Com, King said, "I believe they will keep the folks on board who understand the product, and they'll maintain the brand." Palm is best known for creating the PDA market with the iconic PalmPilot, which came out in 1996. The company lost its footing when the PDA business stalled and it was slow to move to smartphones. Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, best known for his role in developing Apple's iPod, will stay with the company.
Gohring is a reporter for the IDG News Service. Agam Shah and James Niccolai of the IDG News Service contributed to this story.Read more about government/industries in Computerworld's Government/Industries Knowledge Center. Original story - http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/348591/HP_Faces_Rocky_Road_With_Palm_Buy